That didn’t take long, did it?
One day after the closing of the nomination period for the inaugural awarding of the Global Poker Awards, the Global Poker Index has come out with the final list of nominees. Spanning the globe and the world of poker, the Global Poker Awards will take over for the European and American Poker Awards program in what will be a global salute to the game. 130 members of the Nomination Panel (including this writer) put forth their selections for 13 awards, with the following as the results (followed by a quick handicapping):
Tournament Performance of the Year
Justin Bonomo, Super High Roller Bowl IV
John Cynn, World Series of Poker Championship Event
Maria Lampropulos, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event
Dylan Linde, World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic
This is going to be the first of what should be several Global Poker Awards for Bonomo. While Cynn, Linde and Lampropulos were excellent choices, Bonomo’s work in the SHRB was truly stunning.
Breakout Player of the Year
I’d love to see Konnikova get the award – her story of going from greenhorn to tournament poker champion from the tutoring of Erik Seidel is a My Fair Lady story for the poker world – I believe that Imsirovic will come out with the award. His work at the Poker Masters against some of the best in the world made his mark in 2018.
Streamer of the Year
Veldhuis is doing some excellent work (and may have one of these Global Poker Awards in his future if he keeps it up), but it is Somerville that everyone is shooting for in this category.
Vlogger of the Year
Arguably one of the most difficult categories to handicap as everyone is well-deserved of the award. In fact, it is too difficult to make a choice…let’s see what happens with this one!
Podcast of the Year
LFG Podcast (Chad Holloway, Jamie Kerstetter)
PokerCentral Podcast (Brent Hanks, Remko Rinkema)
PokerNews Podcast (Sarah Herring, Jeff Platt)
The Chip Race Poker Podcast (David Lappin, Dara O’Kearney)
The PocketFives Podcast (Lance Bradley, Donnie Peters)
Could see a surprise here. The LFG Podcast and the PocketFives Podcast are excellent, but the PokerCentral Podcast has a “home field” advantage which may pull some in the Jury (the final arbiters of who will receive the awards) to it. Another tough category.
Broadcaster of the Year
As she was one of my choices in my nomination picks, I have to stick with Ho on this award. Had an outstanding broadcast year in 2018 and can’t wait to see what she will do in the future.
Journalist of the Year
Rinkema barely outraces Herring in this category. While Amato is in the running also (unfortunately, I’ve been unable to enjoy much of Zetsche’s work as he is primarily a European journalist), Rinkema has a variety of poker-related media that he has churned out, all of it top notch.
Media Content of the Year
Drew Amato, photography: Brunson Bids Farewell to WSOP
Lance Bradley, book author: The Pursuit of Poker Success
Haley Hintze, journalist: Vayo v. PokerStars
PokerCentral/PokerGO, broadcast network: Super High Roller Club: Schulman feat. Nejad
Once again, going to stick with who I nominated. Hintze deserves this award and, just as an aside, it is not good to lump all of these diverse contents into the same category. If you’re going to separate streaming, vlogging and podcasts into their separate categories, you can do the same for content (reporting, books, broadcasting).
Industry Person of the Year
Angelica Hael, WPT
Cary Katz, Poker Central
Matt Savage, tournament director par excellence
Ty Stewart, WSOP
Rob Yong, partypoker, Dusk ‘Till Dawn
Holding with the person I picked as a nominee. Hael has done some great work in 2018 and look forward to seeing just how great she can be in the future.
Tournament Director of the Year
Tony Burns, Seminole Hard Rock
Paul Campbell, ARIA
Jack Effel, WSOP
Kenny Hallaert, Unibet Open
As I nominated both, I am going to go for either Campbell or Effel. Can’t go wrong with any of the choices, however.
Mid-Major Tournament Circuit of the Year
RUNGOOD Poker Series
The WPT DeepStacks tournaments are all well run, regardless of where in the world they are run. They would be an excellent recipient of this award.
Event of the Year
Partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event
Super High Roller Bowl IV
WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic
WSOP Championship Event
I nominated the SHRB, but this is a tough list of combatants. Not going to make a pick here as it is too close to call.
Moment of the Year
Jeremy Hilsercop receive PSPC Platinum Pass after viral video
Joe Cada Wins “The Closer” after registering following his fifth-place knockout in the WSOP Championship Event
Doyle Brunson Plays Final WSOP Event
Justin Bonomo Completes High Roller Sweep (SHRB China, SHRB Vegas, One Drop)
Have to go with Bonomo here. It wasn’t just one moment, it was THREE in the span of a few months. Difficult to overlook.
Two other trophies, for 2018 GPI Player of the Year (Alex Foxen) and for 2018 GPI Female Player of the Year (Kristen Bicknell) will be handed out during these ceremonies. Other awards – for Charitable Initiative, Lifetime Achievement, the PocketFives Legacy Award and a Jury Prize – will be determined by the Jury itself. A final category – the People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year – will be given after, well, a vote of the people is taken.
The First Annual Global Poker Awards will be handed out and broadcast live from the PokerGO studios in Las Vegas on April 5. It promises to be an interesting evening as poker looks to honor those who make the game great, both through their play and through their work behind the scenes.